Huawei could be quitting US market after all

Never say never, some advice, and that actually goes both ways. Huawei recently said that it isn't giving up on the US market just yet, despite mounting government pressure and withholding its latest and greatest flagship, the Huawei P20. Now, however, sources indicate that the Chinese OEM, now the third largest smartphone maker globally, might actually make a U-turn. Especially after it laid off some American employees, including its biggest American lobbyist.

The five American employees included William B. Plummer, a senior member of Huawei's US policy team and the only member of that team who isn't Chinese. Plummer has been with Huawei for 8 years and held the position of VP of external affairs prior to the layoff. His departure practically means that the company will no longer have any lobbying presence in the US to stem the tide of what's coming next.

Huawei is fighting a losing battle after all. Things have gone beyond simple accusation and now the company is facing legislation that will outright ban its products, ranging from networking hardware to consumer electronics like smartphones, from the US. Political pressure and, soon, laws could also see it prevented from selling in the US, either through carriers or retailers.

Now the company is forced to take stock of its business and rethink its strategy, planning for a future that doesn't include the US. It plans on growing its business beyond network operators and include other industries, like factories and law enforcement. It is also investing heavily in AI research and technologies to break out into new markets.

Of course, Huawei hasn't made anything official and painted the layoffs simply as a natural part of any organization. Such an official statement would be tantamount to an admission of defeat. The challenge now is for Huawei to prove that the US has more to lose in snubbing it and that the company can not only survive but also thrive in other markets without it.

SOURCE: New York Times